Fiddling around tonight with the Century 2 whole-plate camera I acquired last summer, trying to decide which lenses I would mount on the three (only) lensboards I have for it, and how I would go about boring or resizing the holes accurately without a woodworker's lathe, I noticed I've got a problem.
We speak of 6.5 x 8.5 inch format. But the groundglass area on the camera measures pretty close to 6.25 x 8.25. I've measured my cutfilm holders, and they show a clear area of 6 3/16 x 8 3 1/6. No problem so far. But taking off the camera back and taking a good look around the interior of the camera, I would say that probably when I finally get a lens mounted that isn't a wideangle, it is probably going to see something like 6.25 high x 7.25 wide in landscape mode, or maybe even 6.25 x 7; in portrait mode, a little better, probably 7.75 high and 6.25 wide. That will be because the BELLOWS near the camera back are definitely intruding into the image area, particularly on the right-hand side of the camera.
I cannot see anything very obviously wrong. There are no crimps or misfolds in the bellows. They are a bit saggy in the midsection from old age, just like me; but that's easily dealt with by giving them a bit of support from beneath, between bellows and the camera bed. The problem's on the sides, and it seems to be mostly very near the camera back.
Oren? Do you have new bellows on your Century? Have you seen this problem? Can anybody make some intelligent observations on this issue? I don't need to even expose a piece of WP film (which I don't yet have in hand) to see the image is going to come up short on the long dimension, so to speak.
I guess I'm in denial, and I need somebody else to tell me firmly what in my heart I already know -- I'm looking at three or four hundred bucks for a new custom-made set of bellows for this dear old baby.